Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Monsanto Murders Almost a Billion Monarch Butterflies and Now Uses Them for PR

OpEdNews - Kenneth Eade

The Monarch butterfly depends on milkweed to feed its larvae. Without milkweed, the Monarch will surely go extinct. Over the past 18 years, the Monarch population has been….Story here. 

U.S. Climate Commitment Should Spur Other Countries to Act

World Resources Institute

The proposed U.S. commitment to tackling climate change in support of a new international climate agreement is a serious and achievable planstory here. 

Limiting Climate Change Could Have Huge Economic Benefits, Study Finds

the guardian

Stopping global warming at two degrees would create nearly half a million jobs in Europe and save over a million lives in China, analysis of emissions pledges says. Story here.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Subsidies to Industries That Cause Deforestation Worth 100 Times More Than Aid to Prevent it

the guardian

Brazil and Indonesia paid over $40bn in subsidies to industries that drive rainforest destruction between 2009 and 2012 - compared to $346m in conservation aid they received to protect forests, according to new research. Story here.

Canada May Have to Pay Hundreds of Millions of Dollars After Losing a Case Under NAFTA.

by Larry Powell

Will it be even harder for us to protect our own environment now?

It all began about a decade ago when “Bilcon Inc.,” a US company controlled by the Clayton family of Delaware, applied to expand a basalt mine and marine port in Digby County, Nova Scotia. (Basalt is a common rock used in road construction, concrete and other products.)

But the site, which would cover over 150 hectares , happened to be in a key breeding area for vulnerable marine animals, including an endangered whale species. After the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans expressed concern that the rock-blasting associated with the operation might adversely affect the environment, a Joint Review Panel (JRP) was appointed to look into it. The company labelled this development as "rare, costly and time-consuming," but it went ahead anyway.

The Panel conducted lengthy public hearings, calling a host of witnesses. Many expressed concern for tourism, air and water quality, the fishery and generally the quality of life in the area if the project went ahead. In the end, the JRP recommended against it.

In 2008, Bilcon then sued Canada under terms of the now-familiar “Chapter 11” of the NAFTA agreement, seeking $300 million damages. The investors argued before an international NAFTA tribunal, set up to deal with such disputes that, given the encouragement Nova Scotia had been giving them to invest, and the very nature of the agreement itself, rejection of their plan was both discriminatory and unfair. 

In March, the tribunal ruled in favour of Bilcon. It means Canada will have to pay up. While the family is demanding $300 million, the tribunal will decide in a future ruling what that amount will be.

But one member of the tribunal, Prof. Donald McRae of Canada, disagreed with the majority ruling. In a written conclusion of his own, he issues a note of caution about the downsides of the whole process.

"Once again, a chill will be imposed on environmental review panels which will be concerned not to give too much weight to socio-economic considerations or other considerations of the human environment in case the result is a claim for damages under NAFTA Chapter 11. In this respect, the decision of the majority will be seen as a remarkable step backwards in environmental protection and a significant intrusion into domestic jurisdiction. If the majority view in this case is to be accepted, then the proper application of Canadian law by an environmental review panel will be in the hands of a NAFTA tribunal, importing a damages remedy that is not available under Canadian law." 

It is not immediately known when a final decision on the amount of damages, will be determined.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Antarctica Recorded Its Hottest Temperature On Record Last Week


The coldest place on Earth just got warmer than has ever been recorded. Story here.

Keystone & Beyond. Tar Sands & the National Interest in the Era of Climate Change.

inside climate news

The Keystone has already divided the nation on the fundamental questions of how we should respond to climate change and what our energy future should look like. Story here.

Agrochemicals speed the spread of deadly parasites

CLIMATE&CAPITALISM A "crop-duster" applies chemicals to a crop in Manitoba, Canada. A PinP photo. Even low concentr...